Wanderland: Photographs by Leora Laor

On View June 8–July 25, 2008

Leora Laor, Untitled #115, 2002-2004, digital C-print, 18 x 24”

The work in Wanderland: Photographs by Leora Laor ruminates on a depiction of modern day society which is fuzzy, ambiguous, and transient, and on how human relationships function within its boundaries. The photographs capture the diverse, and oftentimes uncomfortable ways that the individual fits into the world, whether presented as a contemporary urban landscape or as fantastic, dreamlike environments created by the artist. Film and video stills which recall traditional portraiture convey an unexpected sense of disconnection: expressions which are obscured and blurred to the point of non-recognition or someone’s back turned to the camera all represent Laor’s sedate exploration into the human condition.

Leora Laor, Image of Light #42, 2005, digital C-print, 18 x 24”

In the aptly titled Image of Light series comprised of video stills, human figures appear against a background of glowing, lurid color, reducing each one to a darkened silhouette as the substantiality of the body disappears. The second group of photographs, shot in Jerusalem in the Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim, possess a sense of agelessness with images of children who could have stepped directly out of the 19th century. The series captures the other-worldly sensation of a place that seems untouched by time, reveling in a type of nostalgia that borders on surreal.

Leora Laor, Happiness (“Osher,” Homage to Michael Gurevitch), 2005, digital C-print, 24 x 31”

Leora Laor is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts and the New School for Social Research where she studied under photographer Lisette Model.  In the 1980s, she worked and exhibited at the Oggi Domani Gallery, the only gallery in the East Village dedicated solely to photography at that time, and participated in pivotal photography exhibitions at Artists’ Space and P.S.1.  After a 20 year hiatus, she has returned to the world of fine art photography and is currently represented by Andrea Meislin Gallery, which has generously loaned all of the work for this exhibition.

Leora Laor, Untitled #128, 2002-2004, digital C-print, 18 x 24”

As a member of the American Association of Museums, The Hebrew Home at Riverdale is committed to publicly exhibiting its art collection throughout its 32-acre campus including the Derfner Judaica Museum and a sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. The Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection provide educational and cultural programming for residents of the Hebrew Home, their families and the general public from throughout New York City, its surrounding suburbs and visitors from elsewhere. The Home is a nonprofit, non-sectarian geriatric organization serving more than 11,000 elderly persons in greater New York through its resources and community service programs. Museum hours: Sunday – Thursday, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Art Collection and grounds open daily, 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Call 718 581-1596 for holiday hours and to schedule group tours, or for further information please visit our website at http://www.hebrewhome.org/art

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.